In the Basic Rehabilitation and Adaptive Design workshops recently held in Tipitapa, Board Member Gretchen Craig spoke to Jermania from Ciudad de Dios. Jermania’s community recently worked together to dig trenches for pipes, and now they have been attending workshops with Physical Therapist Andrew Suseno to see how they can improve the lives of children with disabilities. These workshops will provide caregivers with the necessary skills to construct rehabilitative equipment out of cardboard, and to integrate all members of the community, regardless of their disability.
By Gretchen Craig
Q: How will you use the information you learned in the workshops with your family or community? A: I can use what I learned in many ways. As a community leader, I hope to share the workshops with other leaders, educators, and parents so they too can learn what I did. I can show them the tools they need to work with disabled children and sensitize leaders to offer more support to disabled people in our community, teaching them that many children can recuperate – maybe not completely, but by a great amount with the right therapy. As an educator, I can also share these skills so that the needs of disabled students at school are better understood. I would like to form a cooperative to make adaptive equipment for parents who can´t afford to buy it elsewhere.
Q: What was the best part of this workshop? A: For me the best part of the workshop was constructing the adaptive equipment out of cardboard. I didn’t think we would be able to complete several large pieces in just two days. Once it was painted it looked just like wood. I also liked learning more about physical therapy exercises and massage.
Q: Would you like to learn more about physical therapy and/or the construction of adaptive equipment using cardboard? A: Primarily I would like to learn more about the physical therapy exercises, because they are what people need most. I think that the basic movements are the most essential thing for disabled children.
Q: What did you think of how the workshops were conducted? A: The methodology used was excellent. The workshops were creative, participatory, and very hands-on. Now I understand that with more support, disabled children really can do more. Overall, I loved how easy it was to learn because it made us think and we could be creative. When working in a team it’s great to imagine, create, and find solutions.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share? A: Well, one thing is that for many the boxes are hard to obtain and people can’t afford to go into Tipitapa or Managua to pick them up. It would be great if we could have a central place near our communities, such as the school where the workshops were held, where we could get boxes and borrow tools to make adaptive equipment.
See what Jermania thought of the workshops in this short video: Tiptapa interview